Monday, May 31, 2010

Family Gathering

It was a lovely day full of Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Food, Family, Fun... A whole bunch of Food, Family, and Fun!

My folks open their home each spring to the extended family for a big celebration. The gathering usually begins around noon and continues until everyone is so sated with a surfeit of hot dish and salad that we sink into a complete food-induced stupor. The only solution for this? Playing cards...

You play a few hands of 500 or Whist until you can once again move. By this time, someone will have put out a "little lunch" and the whole process starts over again!

But it was a lovely day. The temperatures were a lot cooler than the day before and the high winds of the past few days had abated. It was overcast and a bit drizzly in the morning, but shortly after people arrived, the skies cleared and the lawn was alive with the youngest generation playing kickball and other games, tag, and basically running around aimlessly.

...and the weekend isn't over yet! Today there are a few chores to do around the house to make sure that everything is all cleared-up after the party.

Wherever you are today, I hope that you're having an excellent weekend!

Don Bergquist - May 31, 2010 - Kensington, Minnesota, USA

Memorial Day

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Day Two On The Road

It was another lovely day for driving!

Saga and I took a walk around her newly acquired part of South Dakota, and then bundled ourselves into the car and headed east. The sun was up and the the day had dawned clear and bright. Too bad for all the wind! Grrr!

My poor little car just shook with the force of each gust as I came from behind obstructions like overpasses or the semis that I passed. Around lunchtime, when I turned north at Sioux Falls, at least the wind was mostly from behind me and I was able to drive without constantly gripping my wheel for dear life!

As I made it into Minnesota, I saw that there is a new cash crop for Minnesota: WIND!

Last evening, it was chicken at Chet's and then a few rounds of cards with the family. I then collapsed into my bed and slept like the dead! Today, we have a family gathering and at least it is not windy. It's not even hot. In fact only my sister, who still lives in South Florida, thinks the weather is bad... so, it's is a bit chilly! Oh well!

Wherever you are today, I hope you're having a lovely day!

Don Bergquist - May 30, 2010 - Kensington, Minnesota, USA

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Rolling East

After a little break in which I slept like a rock, it is time to get moving again. I knew it was time to get going when Saga came up to me and worried the covers off my face, pushed a wet nose into my face, and then whined at me. As this is not usual behavior, I knew something was up!

What was up was the herd of cattle in the field just east of the motel. I opened the door and Saga nearly ripped my arm out of the socket trying to run out and round-up the herd for me. She was like a kid on Christmas.

The apparent message came through loud and clear: “Thank you, Daddy! You brought me here so I could play for you!” She is probably be a bit less enthusiastic when I finish writing and posting this and bundled her into the car. We have (according to the GPS) about 415 miles to go! But those miles will not reduce until I get moving. So, watch for my next update from Minnesota!

Wherever you are today, I hope that your day is beautiful!

Don Bergquist – May 29, 2010 – Murdo, South Dakota, USA

Ascension of Baha'u'llah

John F. Kennedy's Birthday

Friday, May 28, 2010

Stopping For The Night

Other than the wind, it has been a great day on the road!

I rolled out of Lakewood around 15:15 this afternoon, and was rolling east on the interstate about twenty minutes later. The roads were good, traffic not too bad, and as I said, other than the fact that there was a heck of a lot of wind for most of the day, it was a really good day for driving.

A few hours ago, the moon rose, just a day after full, over the rolling hills of western Nebraska. It was a lovely site to see. Unfortunately, my long lenses are in the trunk pretty well buried under too much stuff to have stopped by a dark roadside to dig them out. Ah well.

I rolled into Murdo, South Dakota around 23:00 local time and have taken a room at the little motel that I like staying at here. It is a good half-way point along the drive and Saga is welcome here. We walked around a bit in the dark fields around the hotel, the golden glow of the full moon lighting our walk, and then I took a quick dip in the pool.

I’m now going to get this entry posted and get some sleep. GPS tells me I have just over 400 miles to cover tomorrow and my family wants to eat at Chet’s on Lake Miltona tomorrow night. So I have to get moving early.

It is a lovely night out, though, so I think Saga and I will take one more walk before bedtime.

Wherever you are today, I hope your roads have been clear and trouble free!

Don Bergquist – May 28, 2010 – Murdo, South Dakota, USA

The Sabbatical Begins

As I believe I may have mentioned once or twice before here on my blog, the plans I make for my personal and social life never seem to be as effective or efficient as those I make professionally. (To quote the late, great George Carlin: "There's such balance in nature!")

I am pleased (is "pleased" the right word?) to announce that my score in this respect remains more-or-less perfect. The plan (all outlined in great detail in my Outlook To-Do list) was to complete all the packing and cleaning for the trip by Thursday afternoon and have the car all ready to head out as soon as I left work on Friday.

Well, I almost made it. I was packed and most of the things that were on my list to be done before departure were done. But there was that deceptively simple line on the list "final clean-up" to be done before I left. To tell the truth, I was bushed by the time I completed everything else so I decided to leave this one ‘til this morning.

Of course, this morning became this afternoon and to make a long story short, I am now writing this blog entry instead of finishing the list. But I will be finishing that task or when I return from my trip I will be met by something that needs to be cleaned-up then. I guestimate it will take about an hour. That leaves me an hour for a nap and I should then be on the road by three.

Wherever you are today, I hope that your plans are going well!

Don Bergquist – May 28, 2010 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dad!

It is amazing how far you can see when you are sitting on the shoulders of a giant!

Wherever you are today, I hope that you have an excellent view!

Don Bergquist - May 26, 2010 - Lakewood, Colorado

Happy birthday to my father Denis

Happy birthday to my cousin Levi

Happy birthday to my cousin Callista

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Preparations Have Begun

What a hugely busy weekend I have had!

Those you you who actually know me have probably already heard that my tenure at Harris Corporation comes to an end this week. Those of you who have never actually met me, may have read about it on my website. If you haven't and are interested, you can read about it here. That being said...

Friday night I planned my weekend which, among other things, included heading into the office Saturday to take the time to clean-up my work area and remove my personal affects from the office. After more than twenty years, I suppose I should not have been surprised by the amount of personal stuff I had. Not the least of which was Hairy. Hairy is a Nolina (Beaucarnea) Recurvata or Ponytail Palm that I have been moving with me from office-to-office for nearly twenty-five years now.

Back in 1985, when I started working at Blair Television in Tampa, my boss gave me a budget and asked me to furnish the office with greenery. I walked into a place out by my apartment called "Cheap Plants" and spent the entire budget with almost more plants than I could fit into the my car. The owner of the shop was glad to see me and (apparently) wanted me back she she gave me Hairy as a gift. At the time, he was in a 4" pot and was approximately 3" tall.

As you may be able to tell, Hairy is now well over 4' tall and could not fit in my car for the trip home in an upright position. I had to lean him over the entire trip. Hairy has, I think, now retired. I cannot take him into my next office without the possibility of serious damage so I suppose he is now a resident of my patio for the duration; who will winter in my dining room.

But moving Hairy was only one thing that I did this weekend. The actual prep list (those things I have to complete before leaving on sabbatical) ran almost two full pages once I had built the to-do list. Saturday and Sunday I completed a bit more than a third of it. It is a good thing the weather was nice this weekend. It made the errands I had to run much more pleasant! It is going to be a busy week.

Wherever you were this weekend I hope it was a lovely and productive one for you as well!

Don Bergquist - May 24, 2010 - Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Victoria Day

(No! Really this time!)

Monday, May 17, 2010

What A Great Weekend!

What that a gorgeous weekend or what!?

Saturday was a bit manic for me, of course, it started as they usually do with the 06:00 Weight Watcher's Meeting in Lakewood. But then it was off to the auto repair shop to get my car serviced and ready for my sabbatical. (Two weeks and counting!)

While they were working on that, I had them drop me at home so I could take Saga out for a nice long walk out in her park. She and I had a lovely walk. It was then time for her to get on with her most serious responsibility this time of year: snoozing in the sun on our deck. She protects the homestead like my father watches television; eyes closed and snoring, but aware of any change to the natural order of things. Any change in the surroundings rouses the attention, barking.

In dad's case it is something like this: "Hey! I was watching that!" For Saga it is even more entertaining. She jumps to her feet, gets all tense, stands on the bench with her forepaws on the fence, and then barks until the offending scoundrel (whether it be an actual intruder, a squirrel, or a blossom that has blown off the crab-apple tree) has been duly put in their place.

While all this serious protection of the home-front was going on, I was busying myself with my normal Saturday morning chores, and with getting ready for Game Night. There were salads to make, the grill to prepare for the cookout, and wine to be selected.

After my car was restored to me, there were errands to run, places to be, things to do... by the time the last of the dishes were in the dishwasher, the game night completed, I fell into bed and slept almost immediately.

Sunday was, justifiably, a day for drifting into Slug mode. The weather could not have been better! I took a book and my reclining camp chair to the shade of a tree in the park and read for a while. Saga and I took a couple short walks, and not much else happened.

This morning has dawned bright and clear and there is a lot to do so I had best get this posted and head into the office.

Wherever you are today, I hope you have had a lovely weekend!

Don Bergquist - May 17, 2010 - Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Victoria Day

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sonnet 18

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;

But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

~ William Shakespeare

These pictures were taken an my walk on Monday. They could definitely not be taken today. With the "rough winds shaking the darling buds of may" and the rain and thunder snow last night and this morning, the "darling buds" are buried under an inch of snow this morning. When Saga and I were walking, the dandelions were nothing but stalks stretching futilely through the snow cover.

I heard it said recently, that Colorado is one of the few places where you can be mowing your lawn in the morning and shoveling your walk in the afternoon. That was certainly true yesterday. This morning's rush hour is going to be fun so I guess I had best post this and get headed out. But looking out the office window and the snow-covered aspens, it is just so lovely right now...

Wherever you are this morning, I hope you will have an excellent day!

Don Bergquist - May 12, 2010 - Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Happy birthday to my friend Stephen

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Perhaps Mother's Day is in May, the height of springtime, to remind us how lovely mothers are! For every boy, his mother is the first woman in his life. An I am sure (without being Freudian about it) every boy at some point or another wants to marry a woman exactly like his mother.

Look at the popular culture, there are lots of references to this phenomenon. The most oblique is the old song "I want a girl just like the girl that married dear old dad." So today, on Mother's Day, remind Mom that she's special to you.

I Want a Girl Just Like the Girl that Married Dear Old Dad
lyrics by William Dillon
music by Harry Von Tilzer

When I was a boy my mother often said to me,
Get married boy and see, how happy you will be,
I have looked all over, but no girlie can I find,
Who seems to be just like the little girl I have in mind.
I will have to look around until the right one I have found.

By the old mill stream there sits a couple old and gray,
Though years have rolled away, their hearts are young and gay,
Mother dear looks up at Dad with love-light in her eye,
He steals a kiss, a fond embrace, while ev’ning breezes sigh;

I want a girl just like the girl that married dear old dad,
She was a pearl and the only girl that Daddy ever had,
A good old-fashioned girl with heart so true,
One who loves nobody else but you
I want a girl just like the girl that married dear old Dad.

Wherever you are today, I hope you'll have a lovely mother's day!

Don Bergquist - May 09, 2010 - Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Mother's Day

Happy birthday to my friend Beatriz

Saturday, May 01, 2010